Peers and Register of Peers

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The Australia Council delivers funding every year to organisations and artists across the country. Two important principles guide how the funding decisions are made: 

  • Decision-making is ‘arms-length’ from government, which means at an appropriate distance from the political process 
  • Peer assessment, which means funding applications are assessed by people with expertise or knowledge in arts practice and the arts sector who are best placed to make a determination of the merit of artistic proposals  

These principles are interdependent and ensure that grants are offered to arts organisations and artists whose proposals, in competition with those of other applicants and within budget constraints, demonstrate the highest degree of merit against the published assessment criteria. 

The Australia Council made changes to its peer assessment system in May 2014. We now have a number of peer panels across a range of arts practice and multi-artform areas. Membership of these panels changes with each grant round, with peers drawn from a large and diverse group of hundreds of artists and arts sector professionals across the country. Council convenes peer panels at the end of every grant round to assess the applications received. 

Download the Peer Handbook for Assessment Panels (PDF file - 180 KB)

Download the Peer Handbook for Assessment Panels (Accessible file - 244 KB)

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